Before we begin, the point of this article is to introduce you to ways in which you can catch big crappie regardless of the time of year. This has absolutely nothing to do with a crappy day of fishing, regardless of the time of year. Crappie are all over the place. Well, in water that is. In fact, they are plentiful to the point where sometimes catching them is as easy as just dropping a line and before you finish your thought you get a bite. Crappie are also pretty good eating as far as pan fry fish go. So, what you have here is a pretty easy fish to catch for dinner. Hey, who wouldn’t want to get a piece of that?
To make this even easier for you, we are going to break down your crappie fishing options according to season. Get ready because in a few moments you will be an expert crappie fisherman able to turn an otherwise crappy day on the lake or pond into a rewarding dinner.
1 – Spring
Seasonal Tip To Save You Time: Fish For Crappie In The Shallows
This is spawning season for crappie which means there are going to be a lot of them to catch. Your best bet is to cast into shallow water along banks. The spawning can be as early as mid-March and water clarity will give you a clue as to how deep they actually are. For example, muddy water will see crappie spawn in the one to two foot zone. When water is crystal clear, they can go as deep as they have to so fishing the shallows in a pond is going to produce a good return. The method to the spawning madness involves a trolling motor and small jigs. The trolling motor will get you close to the shoreline. The jigs will attract crappie that are spawning along the shoreline and looking for some kind of distraction to break up the monotony of non-stop spawning. Okay, we made that part up but it really does serve a purpose. Spawning crappie like hanging out in rock ledges, debris from wood, in and around vegetation and gravel banks. Your jig will hit those spots as you slowly troll by.
2 – Summer
Seasonal Tip To Save You Time: Fish In Deeper Water/Explore Night Fishing
Crappie think they can hide from fishermen after spawning right through to September. Their little brains tell them that by staying in and amongst brush and weeds that are located in water about 15 or 20 feet deep, they’ll be safe. Especially if they tend to circulate in the 10 to 15 foot range. All that does is makes them easier to find. Your best spots are around brush piles in ponds and around concrete bridge piers or any kind of bridge support spanning your chosen body of water. When fishing in the warmer month of July and August, go deeper where the water is cooler. At night try this winning technique: drop a submersible artificial light under the surface to attract insects and small baitfish. Crappies will follow just because they see an easy meal. That’s when you can truly say you have hit the motherlode. Crappie will seek baitfish and when you attract them with light, you save yourself a lot of extra work.
3 – Fall
Seasonal Tip To Save You Time: Fish Near Docks
In the pre-Winter months of October and November crappie tend to be a tad on the predictable side. They are also somewhat aggressive during this same time period. A good place to find them in ponds is by fishing off a dock. Talk about easy for you. No hauling your boat off the trailer and setting up for a day of fishing. Did you refuel the outboard motor? Why did you bring the outboard? You know, stuff like that. Instead, all you need is your rod, tackle and a sandwich as you sit on a dock and drop your line into the top ten feet of water. Plus, as an added bonus, you can fish for them in the same brush piles you did during spawning season on the warmer fall days as that will be where they will go to seek shelter and cooler water.
4 – Winter
Seasonal Tip To Save You Time: This Is The Best Time of Year To Fish Crappie
If you are a fair weather fisherman, just go ahead and skip this part. It won’t be of much interest to you because by the time snow flies your boat and equipment are already stored away for the season. What you may not know is that this just happens to be the absolutely best time of the year to fish for crappie. Not only do you stand a good chance of being the only person fishing your favorite pond, you’ll also be able to find crappie way down deep. We’re talking up to 40 feet below, if the pond you are on is that big. If you happen to have a few warmer days leading to a cold front, you can skip the boat and fish in shallow water from shore. Your best bet is to use a slow retrieve as crappie will snub anything that is fast moving just because they won’t be interested in chasing something like they would during Summer.
Additional Ways To Maximize Your Crappie Day On The Pond
So, to kind of finish this off we wanted to add some extra information for you. For example, crappie like to hang out in large groups. The thing about these schools is that they tend to be located near some kind of structure. This means you won’t find very many solo crappie or small schools spread out throughout the pond you are fishing on. One great hint is to cast on either side of a pier or brush pile or weed bed. That’s because if you catch nothing on one side, you will on the other. That’s just how crappie are. They also will seek some kind of cover, usually wood-related, at any time of year. These tips could prove to be your winning moves the next time you are out there crappie fishing.
And Another Thing…
The tall tales you can hear from some of the old timers hanging out at the bait shop is not all bull. In fact, there is going to be a shred of truth buried in each and every story. The hard part is filtering out the crappie parts from the crappy parts. That being said, don’t ignore what you hear. You could pick up the best tip for the day or season. However, if you follow our seasonal guide you are sure to catch as many crappie fishing in a pond as you can handle. Good luck out there and remember to keep your boat and gear handy late in the year for some of the best crappie fishing you will ever experience.